Chicagoans brave snow for COVID vaccine, but city vaccination sites forced to close for the snow

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Many Chicagoans trekked through the snow to get their COVID vaccine Tuesday, but some sites had to close down due to the weather.

With vials and syringes ready to go, snow was not about to close vaccination appointments at Innovative Express Care.

"People want their vaccine and they know they are really hard to get, they are going to do everything they can to get here," said Dr. Rahule Kahare, CEO.

RELATED: Chicago COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by zip code

And they did show up; Innovative had only two cancellations.

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Many Chicagoans trekked through the snow to get their COVID vaccine Tuesday, but some sites had to close down due to the weather.



"I really wanted the vaccine, if I had to walk I would have walked over an hour, I would not have missed my appointment," said Eric Nikolaus, vaccine recipient.

"I was thinking about cancelling, but I called and they said still open, so I made my way here," said Anita Smith, vaccine recipient.

RELATED: Illinois COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by county
Unfortunately, every person scheduled at one of the City of Chicago's supersites missed their appointment, because bad weather forced the city to close all locations Tuesday. However, appointments will be rescheduled.

"You do not need to get back in line and try to fight for another appointment; you will be rescheduled for that vaccine," said CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. "We expect to get them all in early next week, and all of them will be in within the next two weeks."

Officials said those city-run sites will reopen Wednesday morning and appointments will be kept. But outpatient providers in the city that generally receive the Moderna vaccine could see disruptions, as Moderna shipments continue to be delayed.

"I encourage you to call them and talk to them about their vaccine supplies and plans," Dr. Arwady said.

Similar to the city, Cook County will reach out by email to reschedule appointments. People can call the county as well.

At the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake and DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton, massive plow operations allowed vaccinations to proceed.

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Public health officials said to be patient as bad weather around the country is causing vaccine shipment delays. Arwady said 100% of Chicago's current supply is going in arms now; nothing is being held back.

State officials said they were able to avoid similar disruptions in supply by pre-ordering additional vaccine, and storing it in the event of bad weather. Local health departments outside Cook County will continue to receive those state shipments.
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